Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, Chair
Judge William Severin
Judge Ron Hilden
Dean Paul LeBel
Judge Sonna Anderson
Judge Ron Goodman
Judge John Irby
Lee Ann Barnhardt
Justice Maring called the meeting to order. A motion to approve the June 17, 2005 meeting minutes was made by Shawn Peterson and seconded by Dean LeBel. Motion carried.
I. Administrative Rule 36 Changes
The commission reviewed the changes to Administrative Rule 36 that went into effect Aug. 1, 2005. Justice Maring pointed out that four of the entities on the list of organizations that would have presumptive approval for judicial education coursework were not included in the adopted version because it was felt their offerings were too broad in scope. Those entities were the North Dakota Department of Human Services, the Minnesota Department of Corrections, North Dakota University System, and Lutheran Social Services.
II. Fall Judicial Conference Agenda
Justice Maring informed the committee that the Judicial Conference executive committee had approved the agenda for the November Judicial Conference. Lee Ann Barnhardt reviewed the agenda with the commission. There was no further discussion.
III. Bench and Bar
The date for the 2006 bench and bar was discussed. Members talked about the difficulty of holding the event in October or August because of other conflicts. The commission agreed that September would be preferred over August and also suggested early spring. Lee Ann Barnhardt will contact the State Bar Association to confirm a date. Members were asked to submit topic ideas.
a) A previously made motion to split the cost of the Bench and Bar with SBAND was revisited. The original motion made by Judge Anderson and seconded by Dean LeBel was to give the bar association $5,000 toward the Bench and Bar after $5,000 had been expended by SBAND.
However, there was an agreement in place that SBAND and the Office of the State Court Administrator would share in any profits made from the previous Bench and Bar and that those profits would be put toward the OSCA’s share the following year.
Justice Maring asked for a motion to amend Judge Anderson’s prior motion. Anderson made a motion to amend her original motion by inserting that the OSCA would pay up to $3,400 for direct program costs after SBAND has expended $5,000 in funding and the $1,600 of proceeds retained from the 2004 Bench and Bar.
The motion was seconded by LeBel. Motion carried.
I. CLE/CJE Web-based Compliance Report
Lee Ann Barnhardt informed the committee that several judges had requested an easier and perhaps electronic means of tracking their judicial education credits. Currently, each judge submits a paper copy of his/her hours at the end of the 3-year reporting period. She has been looking into several software packages that both help plan and track credits for continuing education programs and is also working with the state’s Central Personnel office to potentially use a module in the state’s PeopleSoft software for tracking. In the interest of time and money, she has agreed to develop some type of spreadsheet/tracking form that judges will be able to use and submit electronically. She will report back at the next meeting.
II. Continuing Education Hours
a) Louie Hentzen asked about tracking hours for Juvenile Officers since the rule was changed from attendance at 2 out of 3 conferences to 40 hours of credits over three years. It was agreed that the conference participants would be required to sign in prior to each morning and afternoon session to receive full credit for the workshop.
b) Lee Ann Barnhardt reported that she had received a complaint from Municipal Judge Dennis Johnson in Watford City regarding limitations on fulfilling the training requirements for municipal judges. The municipal judges are required to attend the annual training seminar or participate in an alternate program with a mentor judge. Judge Johnson said the lack of other alternatives makes it hard for him and others to meet this requirement. Judge Anderson suggested inviting the municipal judges to the Judicial Conferences to receive some of their required hours. Judge Severin pointed out that there were differences between the jurisdictions of law-trained and non-law trained municipal judges. Justice Maring suggested that attending other seminars, such as those for CLE credits, should qualify for hours if they were submitted to the commission for approval and were applicable to the work of a municipal judges. Justice Maring added that only the law-trained municipal judges should be able to attend the Judicial Conferences. Louie Hentzen and Lee Ann Barnhardt were asked to come up with amendments to the guidelines for alternative completion of education hours for municipal judges and submit them at the next meeting.
c) Lee Ann Barnhardt reported that there was 100 percent compliance from the District Judges for CJE credits this past reporting period.
d) Follow-up procedures for municipal judges who do not meet their requirements were discussed. There is one judge who was asked to submit additional documentation of their mentor judge hours. The judge had not yet complied and the staff needed direction on how to proceed. The commission agreed to give the judge an additional month to submit the requested documents. Justice Maring will look into what recourse the commission has if the judge does not comply.
III.YASI Training for Judges
A letter from Judge Kleven, on behalf of the Juvenile Policy Board, requesting YASI (Youth Assessment Screening Instrument) training for judges was discussed. Methods of providing the training were presented. The commission agreed to let the Juvenile Directors develop a proposal for the training that would be consistent throughout the administrative units. A proposal will be presented at the next meeting.
IV. Future Education Needs/Opportunities
Topics for future Judicial Conferences were discussed. Justice Maring introduced three additional topics suggested by Chief Justice VandeWalle: Uniform Parentage Act, jury system issues and the Interstate Compact Agreement. Louie Hentzen added that child welfare protection is an area where additional training is probably needed. Justice Maring asked committee members to forward topics for the Bench and Bar and future Judicial Conferences to her.
V. Judicial Education Commission Members
Justice Maring informed the commission that the Executive Board of the Judicial Conference had discussed the reappointment of 2 members of the commission, Shawn Peterson and Judge Irby. Each had been appointed to serve unexpired terms and had been reappointed to 1 three-year term that expires in January 2006. The Executive Board agreed that they could both be reappointed for 1 more three-year term. Both have accepted the appointment. Judge Severin is approaching the end of his second 3-year term. The commission has asked Judge Severin to give recommendations for his replacement prior to the November Judicial Conference.
Next meeting scheduled for December 16, 2005 at 8:30 a.m.
Lee Ann Barnhardt